Worthless words and unheard chirps

Say something chirpie, pleaseeee anything!” Anirudh said hopefully. He is a 6 year old little boy who is enthusiastic all the time for no reason. Once I was like that too but look what it has done to me. But that “something” hits me so hard. It’s been a while since someone asked me to say something I wish. I am silent as usual, after a while he is gone with a long face. I don’t know why he tries to make me talk this much. It’s so annoying. I drifted into sleep so I feel less horrible. 

*Six months ago* 

“Hey what are you doing red? I am waiting for you at home so we can go together to get some guavas, I can’t wait to taste the sweetness again,” said Pat drooling over his imagination. “I am bored of just eating. Why don’t we learn new words so we can express ourselves better?” I asked curiously.

‌”Why can’t you behave like a normal bird? I don’t know what you wanna express anything with new words. What we know is enough to express. Besides you have me. I will listen to whatever you say and I will understand and I know you will do the same for me. Isn’t it enough for you?” said Pat cheerfully.

“Ugh I know you would never understand. You say you understand me but all I see is you refusing to learn things. You are lazy and unenthusiastic. I wish I had friends who are like me and I will find them.” I flew away frustrated.

I could hear Pat trying to stop me. But I was too fast. I love my friend but he is just a normal bird who only talks about eating fruits and spending a jolly good time. I don’t like it. And I don’t agree with him about whatever words we know are enough. Words are very important to express and I will find someone like me. I got tired after reaching the city so I found a small empty spot for me to rest. After some time I felt a pat, I opened my eyes and saw a man. He offered me water and I said, “thank you.”

The man’s eyes became wide after I spoke. Guess it isn’t everyday they see a civilized and intelligent bird like me who knows a lot of words. “Wow you are talking, you will be very useful for me. As I gave you water, you owe me one lil birdy.” He then took me into his hands and put me in a cage. I was too shocked to fly away. It was too late but I thought that maybe it’s for my own good. I was tired of flying anyway. Humans know a lot of words they can teach me and I will find people who are intelligent and express things unlike my friend. 

It had been a week since the man sold me to what they call a zoo. There were so many wild animals around me. It felt somewhat like home. People came to see me while I talked. They all were loving me for my intelligence. I picked on so many words and was able to say them too. It was time to go back to my stupid best friend Pat and prove him why I was right. It had been 4 months. I missed that idiot and his senseless blabbering.

It was evening when the owner came to give me snacks. I asked him to let me go as I was done with the work I came for. He chuckled and said, “you are one funny bird. Eat your snack and be a good boy.” Then he was gone. I felt the panic and uneasiness. They are going to keep me here against my will. I thought when I expressed myself with better words they would let me go but this guy wasn’t taking me seriously at all. I didn’t want to be in this cage. It was not at all delightful. I stayed just to learn, now I am bored.

 I kept asking everyone to let me go in the hope that someone will understand me. But no one did. Some people got tired of me. And Some people got angry because I wasn’t saying what they wanted me to say. Some people got bored and even grew impatient. Even the people who said I am their favorite bird stopped coming because I only talked about what I want or how I felt and it was not entertaining. All I felt was regret. If no one cares or likes what I feel then there is no point in talking. So I stopped completely. 

Another month passed and a little boy with his dad came to buy me. The owner said that I was useless because I didn’t talk anymore. They can buy some other bird which says a few words. But the little boy insisted on buying me. So then I got caged in a new cage. Nothing different. The boy asked me to say something daily but I didn’t. It became a boring routine now.

*Present day*

words of white bird perched on cage
Photo by Oli Sumit on Pexels.com

I wake up from my nap. There is a guava placed in front of me. Damn I miss Pat. I don’t remember since when his blabbering started to make sense to me. He said, “whatever you say with your words I will understand.” If only I wasn’t too arrogant. If only I appreciated his friendship. If only I knew you don’t need better words to express to someone who cares enough to listen. And if only I can see him again…..

 “Did you eat your guava chirpie? I got for you specially from that scary uncle’s garden. I ran so fast he couldn’t catch me.” Anirudh laughs and says proudly. “How is it?” He asks me with his curious eyes. I replied, “sweet.” He grinned at me and said, “thought so! I will get you another one tomorrow,” and with that he leaves. For some reason, I feel like talking again. Maybe I will if he wants to listen to whatever I say.

My dear saviour!

Many days, many days!

My mind kept murmuring me unnecessary words,

I walk into my room, suit myself a corner,

Fear and terror spinning my head again and again,

I told myself to shut the mouth and act I am better,

The whisper at the tangents of my heart,

Trying to scream and screech for the answer,

The question was unknown, and so the brain said,

For what do you cry? You are not a toddler!

All and all I was restless and clueless,

And then I found this one rockstar,

Looks like a human, talks and walks like one,

I asked, “Where did you come from, stranger?”

Oh! From the extreme stupidity of yours,

Don’t ask your mind, nothing it can answer,

My dear, I am from the strings you attached,

Your friend, Your support and Your saviour!

Not the cliched Lover – Best Friend story!

  • By – Gayatri

It all started with friendship. Doesn’t it always? 😉

2008 – 8th class it was! The usual chattering, fun, teasing, and you know how the school is!

2008-2015 – We became the best of friends. It was a group of 6 best friends! Sounds like F.R.I.E.N.D.S, doesn’t it? 

Well, it was somewhat likewise too we had the sarcastic one, the fun guy and the uptight one like how they all say but we all knew we had each other’s back!

And in these years I didn’t realize I had my chandler next to me until he was getting fonder of Rachel. Yea, that’s my twist now.

He was going nuts over my best friend, but it eventually didn’t turn out well, and I became the superwoman to this chandler with my shoulder. So that’s when all the gut-wrenching and secretly loving my best friend turned out to be a for real.

Things are complicated, but only if we let them get complicated. Over a few months, he realized, ‘I have had Monica beside me all this while.’ and that’s when the actual Chandler and Monica happened!

It all started with a hug, a hug full of love, warmth and a promise of never letting go!

2016 – We were together!!! It was beautiful to realize what you have been waiting for has been along your side all this while! Best friends turned lovers, how cute and exciting! The best part is how we could just have the best of both worlds at once, you mad at your lover? Switch mode to best friend and talk from that perspective and vice-versa.

The first kiss, the first date, the firsts; I know how people talk about their firsts. But with us, funnily, we don’t remember any of our firsts even till date because that’s how lovely it was;  every meeting was like the first one but, a little more meaningful, every kiss was like the first one but a little more expressive, every fight was like the first one but ended with a bit more understanding.

Not that it was all sugar and roses, we had our downfalls, but we never let the ego ever come in between us, that’s another benefit of being best friends now, isn’t it? You give them a whack of a reality check, and they are back to their feet.

2018 – That’s when the short distance turned to long distance. Oh yes! It isn’t easy, primarily when you used to meet that person every day and now you must meet them virtually!

But those six months were the best wherein I was surprised with appearances and trips along with which came a lot of life lessons, which were learnt.

One of which was, ‘Long distance is more than video calls, they are about how you love & how long you can overlook everything unnecessary that asks you to let go; 

how at the end of the day coming back to the ‘i miss you’s’ makes you fall in love all over again and lastly, how the feeling of their longing presence looks all worth it with that hug when you meet them!

2019 – It’s funny, how we didn’t propose each other even till date but still ended up with what we have today! That special bond! It was still as strong as ever, and everything always felt like the firsts.

2020 – Here we are today! In a dilemma! Neither of us had thought this is how it would end! But with all the pain we still put up a smile on each other’s face because we realized more than lovers we longed each other’s friendship and that isn’t something we were ready to sacrifice for the world. He was a keeper, and I didn’t want to let go of him. But he was the crazy best friend who loved me too much that he was ready to let go of the lover because we knew that was the best for us. He was the one who would stand beside me through my worst and the best. I have seen his teenage stupid love and heartbreaks, but this was more than any of it. From being there as a shoulder for crying to giving me a lecture for something wrong, it was always him. And that idiot told me, ‘He would choose the best friend crazy over the unfortunate relationship drama that was meant to come, any day’. Sometimes letting go of a gem of a person feels like the burden of the Earth but realizing the worth of a real best friend over a lover is not to be overlooked ever.

It is the toughest, especially when you find both the lover & best friend in the same person. But circumstances and situations mould things in such a way that we don’t see the beauty of letting go right now but we will when the time comes and what we need always comes to us more than what we want.

So that’s when I realized why people say, ‘If you don’t ever want to lose your best friend, don’t fall in love with them’.

And for all the people who say that lovers can never turn into best friends? Once you realize they are the magic spell which you can’t lose or have otherwise, it becomes easier to let go off the lover because a real best friend always stays!

The Phone Call

By – Olivia Saha

It all started in the class of 5B,
where we met each other for the first time, and you said let’s sit together.
We chose the 3rd bench, not to close to the teacher’s eyes.
But, soon, the seating arrangement was changed, and we were sitting apart on to two sides.
Children being children, the whole class shifted back to their old seats as soon as the 1st period got over.
Now for the next 7 periods, we would be sitting together.
The Maggie in your tiffin was my favourite, and the sandwich in mine was yours.
And we used to wait for each other outside the washroom doors.
We were given the tag of “Talkative” because of our endless talks,
The talks that would continue even after we reached home after school.
Those days our after school talks used to happen over landlines,
And we never missed calling each other before the next day at school begins.
Who knew the bond will become so strong?
We were BEST FRIENDS by then!
We grew, we laughed, we cried together.
We were sure this bond was meant to be forever!
With time we parted our ways for our careers,
I left Kolkata, and got so busy that those calls nearly faded away,
which was surely wrong.
But, even if we called once in a while,
The string of our friendship was still STRONG!
After so many years, I was coming to Kolkata for a very long time.
The first priority was to meet you, hug you and talk endlessly this time!
But life has its own ways!
One morning I got a PHONE CALL, it was from one of my childhood friends.
The first thing I thought was, may you two were together.
I picked up the phone happily, but the news I got made me shattered.
I couldn’t have thought of it in my worst nightmares ever!
“You were NO MORE”
My heart ached like someone pierced it and torn it into a thousand pieces.
What could have gone wrong?
Why God took you away?
This “Why” will remain with me my entire life along with our memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.
The thing that makes my heart heavy is that I couldn’t see you for one last time!

  • In memory of my childhood best friend.